Withdraw cases against stone pelters

Mufti Sayeed led coalition government has been under fire for the past few days for its `composite townships’ for the migrant pandits. Although the Chief Minister tried to do the damage control but the dust will take some time to settle down. The government, however, can do itself a favour by withdrawing cases against youths booked for stone pelting. The PDP spokesperson, Naeem Akhter Andrabi and other party leaders had promised withdrawal of such cases against youths if voted to power. This promise lured many a youth to go to the polling booths and at some places also became polling agents for them.  There is no denying the fact that the government will have to do a lot of explaining especially in the scenario that is now emerging in the backdrop of Masrat Alam’s release that triggered a debate across India.  Some television channels linked it to the security of state.  But the ‘composite townships’ have put the PDP, if not the coalition government, on the back foot. The PDP has to do something (besides dissociating itself from the ghettos controversy) to win back those who voted for it. Withdrawing cases against “stone pelters” can earn it a lot of goodwill. The coalition partner is likely to oppose it tooth and nail. But in a coalition, the partners accommodate each other by doing adjustments here and there. The PDP has done a lot to keep the BJP in good humour. First it withdrew its order on the state flag within twenty-four hours of issuing it.  Another order on Urdu met the same fate. The PDP also allowed a bill on 8% reservations for scheduled caste to be dumped. Now it is BJP’s turn to show some flexibility. The BJP has to be told to cooperate in withdrawing cases against the youth booked for stone pelting. If it does not happen, then the PDP must remain in its shoes. The CM and others around him must bear in mind that they are not in a position to kill the stray dogs. Seeking repeal of AFSPA, therefore, is too big a task for the PDP. Venturing into troubled waters does not make any sense especially when PDP has decided to play to Sangh tunes to stay in power. Mufti Sayeed is an old player and knows the people of Kashmir well. They have sustained the azadi sentiment since 1947 notwithstanding the repression they have undergone for all these years.